Negotiation studies

Part of the research area of risk and safety is the study of negotiations. Negotiating forms a key part of not just daily life, but also academic research. How do people negotiate and how do they respond to it when its fair or unfair? What are good tactics and how do we teach people these tactics? These questions are answered using a wide array of measures, varying from virtual reality simulations, interaction analysis and multi sensor installations.

VR goggle from the HTC Vive

Virtual Reality (VR) and simulations

Virtual reality allows for the creation of highly immersive simulations, in which the participants often forget that they are partaking in a study. This allows for the observation of more genuine behavior in a highly flexible setting without risking the safety of the participant. Risk and safety researchers therefore often use VR and may supplement it with questionnaires or physiological measurements.

A screenshot of the app showing the main menu

Sociometry app

Within the field of group interactions is a big interest in the underlying group dynamics. For example, who speaks the most, at what tone and how is the dynamic of the conversation? The Sociometry app (available on Android & IOS) developed by the BMS lab aids researchers in answering such questions. It allows for the recording of a conversation through a simple smartphone and enables analysis on wide array of aspects, such as the dominance of speakers, their tempo and tone. It gives key insights in group makeup and conversational progress and provides the ability to transcribe conversations.

Image of a women sitting with an EEG and controlling a device with her brain signals

Multisensor setups

Some studies benefit greatly from combining measurements. For example, by combining eye-tracking or recordings with heart rate and skin conductive measurements or even an electrophysiological (EEG) recording. Combining and synchronizing these measurements to create a high quality datafile can be quire complex. The BMS lab is both experienced and equipped in such endeavours and uses the Noldus observer software suite for this purpose.

A great example in which many measurements were combined for a better result.

Facial Expression (and movement) analysis

The face can be an open book to those who know how to read it. It can reveal the seven base emotions (joy, anger, fear, disgust, contempt, sadness, and surprise), facial landmarks and behavioural indices. Each can help you understand the thought process, emotional and mental state and intent of the person in front of you. The BMS lab is equipped with some of the best facial tracking hard- and software available. These range from specialized camera equipment, to advanced software suites for computers and laptops like the IMotions Facial Expression Analysis package.